If there’s one thing all small business owners have learnt lately, it’s that nothing is ever guaranteed!
One day, you’re happily minding your own business, servicing clients, and paying your bills. The next, you’re being forced to shut your doors and left wondering ‘How the hell am I supposed to keep doing this?’.
It’s no secret that times have been super tough. Small businesses around the world are suffering and it feels never-ending.
So, how are some small businesses surviving (and thriving ) while others are being forced to shut up shop?
Simple. They’re diversifying.
What does it mean to diversify your business?
Have you seen people online who, during this time of the pandemic, have seemed to transform? They’ve diversified their offerings to make them relevant and sustainable to survive.
I was in this rocky boat.
As a business coach and marketing consultant, I relied on word of mouth referrals. When the pandemic took hold, the big businesses I worked for slashed their marketing and training budgets and, you guessed it – I was left out in the cold.
My entire coaching focuses on teaching people to protect their businesses and diversify their income.
You can guess how embarrassed I was when I realised I had been so busy focussing on delivering results for my client’s businesses that I had forgotten about me. It was 100% a bitter pill to swallow.
So, I diversified. I looked at the current situation (and my own experiences) to see where I could direct my business offering to remain viable. I now work with women running small but mighty businesses and help them discover ways to keep their business afloat too.
Is it easy to change the direction of your small business and diversify?
Yes and no. Some business owners are super keen to jump into the unknown in the hope of survival whereas others have the ‘I’m already doomed, so why does it matter?’ mindset.
Here’s what people say and how to flip these thoughts:
I can’t get my mind around it
Some people can’t see the wood for the trees. Some service-based businesses can’t see themselves selling products as it’s too far removed from what they do now or product businesses don’t feel like they have a service to sell.
Let’s flip that!
It’s a shame because, on both sides, there’s so much that can be done. A service-based business can turn their knowledge of a software system into a sellable eBook and a product business can create online lessons on how to use their product around the home. Be creative!
It’s too much work
I’ll never tell you that you’ll snap your fingers and have money rolling in; it is going to take some effort on your behalf. I’m sure you remember the days of building your business – it’s going to be a bit like that again.
Let’s flip that!
This time, you’ve got business knowledge behind you. Keep an open mind, explore your options, and you’ll find you’re capable of more than you think.
I can just sell more stuff
Yes, sure you can. You can advertise more, grow your network, and sell more products to the same people. But isn’t that half the issue right now? People aren’t buying?
Let’s flip that!
Creating products that appeal to the needs of your audience (and what they need right now) allows you to create a diverse income model. When you do this, you develop multiple (and differing) streams in your business so if one stream starts running dry by competition, economic factors, legislation, or the pandemic, your other revenue stream can still flow.
My brain is going to explode
So many business owners get stuck focusing on servicing their clients that they forget to worry about their own business (guilty as charged here!). Others have listened to various podcasts, hopped onto online training sessions, worked with business coaches – all of which has left them even more confused from information overload.
Let’s flip that!
Baby steps. Start by getting everything out of your head, whether it’s on a vision board, dot points scribbled down, or a mind map on a fancy software program. Find a trusted (and recommended) business coach who you can relate to. Start to work through your thoughts, looking at what inspires you and what you feel your audience is waiting to lap up.
Need help to diversify your small business to survive tough times?
As a diversity coach with over 21 years’ of experience, I’m passionate about helping businesswomen diversify, grow, and thrive.
If you need help to create a strategy and action plan to help your small business remain viable through any of life’s tough times, I’m here to be your support partner. I’ve walked this path and know how it feels to be frozen by indecision and unsure of what to do next.
With a good ear for listening, coupled with my ability to deliver proven brand marketing strategies, I’d love to hear from you and explain the different packages I have available. From 1:1 coaching to group sessions, I’m ready to help you discover how to make your business more profitable. Please get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org.